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Interesting article on therapies and interventions


rafiki
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I am skipping over posts here....

 

However, on the point "schools in Europe don't teach reading until age 8."

 

...

There is some difference in terminology.

 

In fact, the expectatations ARE that kids at age 5-6 should be learning letters, letter sounds, and how to form very simple CVC words. When they say they don't start reading instruction until age 7 or 8, that is NOT what they mean. (This is second-hand info now -- but this is what I was told when asking the expat ladies.) They mean they don't emphasize it nearly as much as here, and don't go nearly as far as early as is done some places here..... but they don't mean that kids are not learning their letters and letter sounds, and to form some words, to blend sounds to make a word, etc. at age 5-6. (If not 4.)

 

 

Yup, this is a whole strand of thought I dropped because I was just getting so wearied with the inaccuracies and vague claims. In Russia they have a later school entrance, absolutely, but generally a child can read BEFORE he goes to school because Russian is entirely phonetic. I very vividly remember the 5 and 6 yo children laughing at me because my own reading of their storybooks was so halting compared to theirs.

 

Any time you start looking at other countries, you have to look at the context, what is going on in the home, etc. etc.

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Many are missing that there is a range of the presentation of left-brainers and right-brainers, just like their is a spectrum of profiles in those with ASD, ADHD, etc. Its not black and white.

 

Children continue to struggle with learning after getting an alphabet soup of labels, interventions, and therapies. Could it be because they are returned to left-brained approaches which are simply accommodated or tweaked and expected to produce on a left brained time line?

 

Why would someone do this? It's illogical, and it's not what you or I have done. It's certainly not what we advise anyone on the boards to do. It's not what our neuropsych suggested to do even, so there's no professional compulsion. He advised me to go as far out of the box as possible and not even to worry about traditional sequences of skills (textbooks, blah blah), that with her IQ dd was going to be perfectly fine in college as long as she was engaged.

 

...

My children have had evaluations, each resulting in different labels, therapies, and interventions, yet they still struggled when required to follow the traditional ideals.

 

See now I'm finally getting the lightbulb, on why this was a shift for you. I didn't realize how strongly you were feeling compelled to follow a timeline. Maybe your state regulations were part of that?

 

...

We simply do not have the schoolwork battles you read about here. Learning has blurred with life and it is not something we check off each day or confine to certain hours.

 

- Michele

 

Ok, Michele, I specifically asked you, because I did want to know what you were taking from this and how it was helping you. I think something finally makes sense to me. This is a shift for your thinking, but for us it's what we've been DOING. All these years we've been DOING two hours of history every day and tons of art and listening to audiobooks and cooking and sewing and sculpting. Sewing and sculpting have had huge blocks of time, just like it was as important as math, because it WAS (and IS) in our house. And although we spent significant time working on spelling and SWR skills, we spent 2-3 times as long on a given day doing immersive history. We cooked and made mud maps and models of houses and acted out circuses and you name it. She had lots of time and raw materials and spark to do her own thing. Tons and tons and tons of right-brained stuff. It's how Doodles and I first made friends, because we were swapping stories of how my dd was doing things her dd used to do when she was little. There was no squashing of her creativity, no holding her over a paper with pencil when she needed to be out creating. We did BOTH, and for all the pencil work we did (and manipulative work and creative work), we did lots MORE that was what Cindy calls Right-Brained.

 

So when I read Cindy's blog and that article you cited, that's all the stuff we did and DO. It's what we've always done. There's no dichotomy, no lightbulb moment, no regrets. I also have no regrets about doing our interventions along WITH the right-brained stuff. I only wish we had found them SOONER.

 

So you know everyone is coming where they're coming from. That article corrects something for you. For me it's what we've always done, and it's sort of vague. It's confusing to me that someone can claim a category covers a swath of kids and explains a delayed timeline but then have that delayed timeline radically affect one child and not, seemingly AT ALL, affect another. To me it means the explanation of the delay was too simple.

 

And btw, on the whole stress in the house thing, I wanna be really polite here, but I'm going to point out you haven't raised a girl. When I talk with Doodler, her experience seems no different than mine. She's just a more awesome person, so she handles it better. There's a whole different dynamic with girls, the cattiness, the hormones, the extremes. My boy is a big change, so matter of fact, so easy to work with comparatively. He's not comparing himself to you. You have personality differences and just plain how moms handle things. I spent the entire year last year sick from wi-fi exposure every week. And the year before that sick from driving long trips every week. I'd get over one and have to do it all over again. So if someone looks at that and says we have problems, is the issue my relationship with my kid or the wifi? We've been having a great last few months, just great. I stay away from wifi.

 

I think everybody has to find their own peace and how they get it in their family with the mix of kids they have. I haven't found a single person on the board yet whom I look at and go "Oh, if I could replicate that my house would have exactly the peace I want." The mixture is too individual to their situation.

 

BTW, I just want to add this on. I don't think having a lightbulb moment and seeing things more clearly now INVALIDATES all the things you did in the past. I can think back to all kinds of interest-driven or creative things your boys have done in the past. Maybe it's not as much as you would have WISHED in retrospect, but you did. You did what you knew how to do in the moment.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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I woke up thinking about this subject. The book the Dyslexic Advantage by the Eides was interesting because it discussed mind strengths of dyslexic learners.

 

I'm rough paraphrasing here as my book is loaned out. The book cites a brain study that goes something like this. Dendrites of the brain are stacked like coins. Certain areas of the Autistic brain contain an area where the coins are closer together. This distance between coins is quantifiable. On the other hand, certain areas of the dyslexic brain contain coins with a larger distance between. If you drew a line indicating coin distance, Autistic and dyslexics would be on opposite ends of that line.

 

These coin stacks connect to one another. Apparently, the length of these connections affect memory,learning, and give the dyslexic learner both his weaknesses and strengths.

 

I think we need to be more specific when we discuss right-brained learners. My child is not Autistic. He is classically dyslexic and gifted. He never crawled and suffered tons of ear infections as a child. His vestibular issues coupled with not crawling and a genetic component are his banes. He isn't overwhelmed by light or noises. You can touch him. He loves people and interacts well with everyone.

 

I can readily see where an Autistic child would not respond to the reading intervention that my son has had. An Autistic child would simply go into sensory overload. Perhaps an Autistic child needs some dendrites to die off so that they can engage people, learn to handle their emotions, and face more difficult tasks. Dendrites dying off is good because it helps the brain work more efficiently.

...I don't know of any reading intervention combined with Autism studies. That would be an interesting read.

 

Heather, it took me about 3 times through your post to realize where you were going with this! You're making a really interesting point, because in fact the Eides' explanation of the mini-columns, the space between them, and how that affects neural connections in learning, is what finally brought me to peace with my dd and how she learns and why her interests are so different and widespread but connecting at the same time. It's what gave me the peace to embrace how she learns going forward into the high school years and not lose what has worked for us. Very concrete there, with MRI substantiation.

 

So your extrapolation makes a lot of sense, that if you lump into "right-brain dominant" kids who have widely-spaced mini-columns and kids who have mini-columns that are close together, you're putting together and making recommendations for a population that is totally divergent on brain structure and what they need.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Ok, Michele, I specifically asked you

 

I specifically did not respond because some of us are talking different languages. I'm really speechless at this point.

 

You completely don't understand me and are assuming quite a bit. I need to return my energy to my family.

 

I've grown away from this board so much. :seeya:

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On this particular board we have a mix of kids with LDs, physical and neurological disabilities, developmental delays, AND styles of learning which simply don't fit well with typical instructional methodology and timetables. It is hard to untangle all the various strands, and each child is so very different and so complex that sometimes making generalizations seems impossible.

 

In my child, there are many right-brained characteristics that have made, and continue to make, her seem LD WHEN and only when you look at her through the lens of a conventional left-brained education. She resists direct instruction, until recently would have nothing to do with non-fiction (and if coaxed and urged and pressed, let it all drip right out of her brain), and had hugely disparate abilities in different areas. She did have some visual-motor deficits, but the MAJOR factor shaping her learning is her right-brained profile.

 

Now, as she is sixteen, the developmental things that have happened have put her where she needs to be to succeed in college; she's taking her first classes at community college right now and doing wonderfully with standard writing tasks. She just got there in a different way, and on a different timeline, than left-brained kids do; she also got there without being overly pathologized and subjected to remedial therapies that she actually didn't need.

 

I can clearly see the two things at work at once in my particular dd: the visual-motor deficits that did need intervention, AND the "right-brained normal." If you can't see both these factors in your own child, that's perfectly valid and legitimate, but it does not make what Cindy is saying and what others of us DO see in our own children invalid either. It doesn't invalidate the fact that in my dd's case, VT accomplished a lot in the visual-motor area, but not all; and that she STILL didn't develop in her writing abilities until age fourteen despite testing out of the stratosphere on reading evaluations. It doesn't invalidate the fact that other moms have seen this same pattern in their right-brained kids, kids with ADHD, Asperger's, and dyslexia.

 

The SN board is supposed to be a place where we honor each mother's knowledge and intuitive understanding of her own child. It's sad to see some people's understanding of their own children criticized when this board is supposed to be dedicated to building up precisely our confidence in being our kids' best teachers. It's sad to see some people feeling directly attacked for having their kids evaluated and pursuing interventions for what are clearly some serious problems, when that is not what Cindy is saying, or what I am saying.

 

A right-brained view of education does not argue that all evaluations and interventions and therapies are therefore wrong and unneeded. It argues that LDs are over-diagnosed in the right-brained population and that many kids are being labeled and put into the SN category when the method of left-brained instruction simply is inappropriate for them, and can be damaging (look at the adults now who went through a particularly rigid left-brained era in education, or those who still drop out because their needs are so badly met). It does not argue that ALL diagnoses are therefore wrong or that kids will grow out of every issue. It doesn't deny the fact that some children DO have problems that are not resolved through a right-brained approach exclusively.

 

For every one of our kids who has serious underlying issues or general life-impacting deficits, there are others who are labeled, medicated, and subjected to remedial eduction or therapies -- unnecessarily, or unnecessarily early. Cindy's kids happen to be in the category of kids who develop differently but without needing additional intervention other than a learning environment that understands and works with, rather than against, their needs. My dd falls in good part, but not entirely, in that category. Some people's kids fall outside of it.

 

It's not always easy to know which is which and what is what when we're talking about brains and learning. That's why information on right-brained normal, what it is, what it looks like, what it isn't, is critically important. Cindy's hope, like mine, is that the more we know about right-brained normal, the more we understand and find ways to work with it and not try to force our kids to a developmental stage of academics that is inappropriate fort hem, the better we will also understand when intervention IS needed, what therapies work WITH right-brained strengths as well as with bolstering up their weaknesses.

 

If I hadn't had a couple of dear people on these boards telling me that my dd's writing process/path looked like that of their child, and that a huge developmental leap had occurred in early to mid-adolescence, that their child was now succeeding perfectly well with standard college writing, that I could simply work with critical thinking and reading lots and talking about writing without forcing her to continually produce standard written output... if I hadn't had that kind of information about one kind of developmental timetable, I could have sentenced my dd to inappropriate remedial therapies and a lot of unneeded work that would have discouraged her and turned her off of writing permanently. And I repeat, she got the highest possible score on the written essay placement exam for community college, plus on the CHSPE, the California test that is equivalent to a high school diploma. She got there in her own way and in her own time, and that time ultimately coincided with standard academic expectations.

 

For other parents whose kids display that similar right-brained writing developmental path, as well as for those parents who would like more information on sifting out the differences between normal right-brained development and other issues that DO need evaluation and intervention, I hope Cindy's book will be as beneficial as the information I got from other moms here and from Cindy's blog.

Edited by Doodler
I added one letter to a misspelled word and it calls that "editing"!
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Heather, it took me about 3 times through your post to realize where you were going with this! You're making a really interesting point, because in fact the Eides' explanation of the mini-columns, the space between them, and how that affects neural connections in learning, is what finally brought me to peace with my dd and how she learns and why her interests are so different and widespread but connecting at the same time. It's what gave me the peace to embrace how she learns going forward into the high school years and not lose what has worked for us. Very concrete there, with MRI substantiation.

 

So your extrapolation makes a lot of sense, that if you lump into "right-brain dominant" kids who have widely-spaced mini-columns and kids who have mini-columns that are close together, you're putting together and making recommendations for a population that is totally divergent on brain structure and what they need.

 

Thank-you for understanding. You restated what I wrote way better than I ever could.

 

I spoke with a friend today that teaches O-G, and I ask her specifically how she teaches Aspies. She said that you have to look at each child and deal with the individual. She stated that these kids often do better given a little more time, but she was quick to point out that the delay should not be long. She used the words "as soon as you can, as slow as you need."

 

As to Northern European standards of reading instruction. Sweden maybe? It has a very high literacy rate and there is no serious reading instruction until aged 8??? Am I picking the correct country...Anyho,

 

That particular country relies heavily upon television re-runs from foreign countries. Instead of dubbing the mother language over the foreign TV show, the country uses closed captioning. These kids are exposed to written word almost immediately and are highly motivated to learn how to read for the express purpose of understanding a TV program. Again, this is a terribly rough paraphrase from the book The Read-Aloud Handbook: 6th Edition by Trelease and are the author's assertions. I very likely have mentioned the wrong country...I loan out a lot of personal books.

Edited by Heathermomster
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Thank-you for understanding. You restated what I wrote way better than I ever could.

 

I spoke with a friend today that teaches O-G, and I ask her specifically how she teaches Aspies. She said that you have to look at each child and deal with the individual. She stated that these kids often do better given a little more time, but she was quick to point out that the delay should not be long. She used the words "as soon as you can, as slow as you need."

 

As to Northern European standards of reading instruction. Sweden maybe? It has a very high literacy rate and there is no serious reading instruction until aged 8??? Am I picking the correct country...Anyho,

 

That particular country relies heavily upon television re-runs from foreign countries. Instead of dubbing the mother language over the foreign TV show, the country uses closed captioning. These kids are exposed to written word almost immediately and are highly motivated to learn how to read for the express purpose of understanding a TV program. Again, this is a terribly rough paraphrase from the book The Read-Aloud Handbook: 6th Edition by Trelease and are the author's assertions. I very likely have mentioned the wrong country...I loan out a lot of personal books.

 

I think it's Finland. We read the same books. ;)

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I just thought of a specific example from my daughter's experiences with VT that might (or might not) be useful.

 

She did one bout of VT at age eight. It accomplished NOTHING. It was only when we went to our second round, at age eleven, that I realized the first place had been focused entirely on remediation as it applied in a school setting, particular with relation to reading tasks. The second set took a much more individualized and holistic approach, integrating much larger aspects of motor planning, fine motor, and vision.

 

There were a number of different aspects of visual functioning that were still an issue for dd at age eleven. The ones that seem striking to me in retrospect, and in the light of this discussion, are these:

 

1) she still would look at L's printed in different alignments and say they all "looked right." She couldn't distinguish left from right.

 

2) she wasn't using her peripheral vision at all, and thus had terrible trouble tracking moving objects or seeing what wasn't directly in front of her.

 

On issue number one, after 7 months of therapy (the second bout), she STILL thought L's looked right facing in any direction -- in isolation. I got furious at well-meaning people who would ALWAYS tell her, "Oh, just hold up your hands and make L's with each one, and the one that makes an L is your left hand." They didn't get that for dd, both made proper L's. Her ability to see shapes in any rotation and orientation was ahead of her still-developing 2-D or "fixed" visual sense. VT didn't change that, despite hours, days, weeks, and months of work on precisely that issue.

 

A year later, despite my having done absolutely nothing more and letting the issue drop, she could use the hand trick and know which L was the correct facing one. She had developed that ability on her own timetable, a right-brained timetable.

 

During all this time dd had no trouble reading. When she learned to read, by herself, quite early, she not only read right side up, but astonished me by looking over the table to what I was looking at on the other side, and reading it upside down; she also read things sideways. This was just right at the very early stage.

 

I still can't figure out why it was necessarily an important task to be able to know which was a single letter L faced, in complete isolation from other letters, words, or meaning -- especially given that she was reading light years above grade level. She had trouble with reading smaller print, but that was only an issue because the books she wanted to read were adult books (adult Star Trek fiction at that point) and they came in a smaller font. If I'd had access to a large font library of Star Trek books, it wouldn't have been a problem!

 

On issue number two, which was primarily a physiological and neurological deficit or glitch, VT made huge differences. After VT, dd could ride a horse in an arena with up to twenty other riders without panicking and freezing because she couldn't track their intended path or judge where they'd be after a certain time. She didn't like riding with that amount of visual traffic, but she could do it if need be.

 

Those two separate issues, although they both were involved in her visual processing and functioning, illustrate, to me anyway, the difference between a right-brained normal that can be treated as an LD with no success whatever, and the kind of deficit that was not timetable related, but which was a real malfunction, for any kid at that age no matter how he or she learned.

Edited by Doodler
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Also, regarding autism: this was in the New York Times today.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/opinion/sunday/immune-disorders-and-autism.html?src=me&ref=general

 

And finally, regarding Scandinavian countries:

 

I was fascinated to learn in a book called Finnish Lessons that up to 50% of all kids who go through the elementary and middle school system receive some kind or other of "different" instruction, whether that includes tutoring, being taught or shown the material from a different perspective or with a different methodology, targeted therapies, or whatever. They tend to move in and out of the separate instructional techniques rather than being stuck there. Because so many kids need more than just the standard classroom (LB??) approach, there is little to no stigma attached.

 

And surprise surprise, by high school nearly all of these kids no longer need whatever different methodologies or approaches they did in earlier years. The SN high school population in Finland is apparently VERY small, and their overall national literacy rate very high. By high school most kids' developmental timetables have evened out with those of LB kids, and children who did need interventions got them.

 

Now what I really want is a book specifically on those pull-out moments: what happens? Do the Finns acknowledge RB vs. LB patterns of learning and make sure RB kids get what different kind of presentation or emphasis they might need, what time and alternative approaches they might need?

 

And by the way, ETA that Finnish high school tends to be much less time-consuming than here, kids are given much less homework, and they still perform near the top of almost every international comparative assessment across multiple subjects.

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And by the way, ETA that Finnish high school tends to be much less time-consuming than here, kids are given much less homework, and they still perform near the top of almost every international comparative assessment across multiple subjects.

 

Any connection to diet there? Do people in Finland tend to eat a lot of fish?

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As soon as you can, as slow as you need ... This may work for many kinds in a school environment, but the complete reverse was the case for my Aspie. Perhaps this was because I had no need to make her fit into a traditional LB output mode until she was ready to do so.

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As soon as you can, as slow as you need ... This may work for many kinds in a school environment, but the complete reverse was the case for my Aspie. Perhaps this was because I had no need to make her fit into a traditional LB output mode until she was ready to do so.

 

You don't feel comfortable seeing "can" to allow for can't as well? Whatever. See I'm just so basic and boring, b&w. If he can't, he can't. It's not like can has to = PUSH.

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Also, regarding autism: this was in the New York Times today.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/opinion/sunday/immune-disorders-and-autism.html?src=me&ref=general

 

And finally, regarding Scandinavian countries:

 

I was fascinated to learn in a book called Finnish Lessons that up to 50% of all kids who go through the elementary and middle school system receive some kind or other of "different" instruction, whether that includes tutoring, being taught or shown the material from a different perspective or with a different methodology, targeted therapies, or whatever. They tend to move in and out of the separate instructional techniques rather than being stuck there. Because so many kids need more than just the standard classroom (LB??) approach, there is little to no stigma attached.

 

And surprise surprise, by high school nearly all of these kids no longer need whatever different methodologies or approaches they did in earlier years. The SN high school population in Finland is apparently VERY small, and their overall national literacy rate very high. By high school most kids' developmental timetables have evened out with those of LB kids, and children who did need interventions got them.

 

Now what I really want is a book specifically on those pull-out moments: what happens? Do the Finns acknowledge RB vs. LB patterns of learning and make sure RB kids get what different kind of presentation or emphasis they might need, what time and alternative approaches they might need?

 

And by the way, ETA that Finnish high school tends to be much less time-consuming than here, kids are given much less homework, and they still perform near the top of almost every international comparative assessment across multiple subjects.

 

Dh is German. His high school experience was similar as far as the time spent in school and homework goes. The class time, though, was very left-brained from what he describes.

 

I posted earlier about this, but our local schools really use a variety of different types of instructions which are definitely geared to a right-brained population. Not every teacher is the same, but the emphasis is there. They are very much aware of the needs of different learners. It also seems that most of the in-service dh participates in at the high school where he teaches is about using alternative methods to reach kids with different learning needs. Quite honestly, it seems that's all anyone's been talking about in the brick-and-mortar school world for the ten years we've been in this country. It's not new.

 

My dd who is in school is bright and "on track" for learning, but she is very much a sensory seeker and is my child most likely to be labeled with a four letter acronym. A veritable tornado, mentally and physically. I always thought she would be the one I would least want to homeschool but the one who would need it. Serious issues led me to give school a try, and she absolutely thrives there because of the variety of activities that fully engage her.

 

Our area may be different than the rest of the country, but from what I've seen, it's well recognized that there are different types of learners and alternative methods continue to be implemented at both public and private schools. And I've heard of families moving to my town from other states to have their children in our local ps's autism program.

 

The fact is, though, that kids without documented SN still are expected to fit in the timetable decided by the state. I think that would be true in all countries for the most part.

 

Despite the multi-sensory approach of our schools, the environment was not a good match for my dd with CAPD. Yes, she was still rather successful academically, but the affects of CAPD--not getting instructions, working too slowly--were there and causing problems more and more as the years went by. We just didn't know what it was.

Edited by NJKelli
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I lived in Japan for ten years. Where I lived there was a school that everyone wanted to get their children in. Admission was by lottery. It was connected to a university's school of education and their methods were very experimental, along the lines of a right-brained education. Japan is probably the most left-brained country, but even there you find a interest different methodologies. The only problem was that it only went up through fifth grade, I think, so when the kids who went through this special school had to move on to a typical middle school, they had a huge adjustment. Parents knew this and still wanted their kids in there.

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You don't feel comfortable seeing "can" to allow for can't as well? Whatever. See I'm just so basic and boring, b&w. If he can't, he can't. It's not like can has to = PUSH.

 

I'm not quite sure what you mean here. I'm thinking in particular of the fact that I could have had dd writing regular assigned essays, doing formal, written literary analysis, etc. much sooner. She was intellectually able, but that didn't fit with the rest of the way she approached books, stories, and the world in general. She has more of the approach of a writer, rather than a critic, which is how essays in almost all curricula are approached. She likes, in a very right-brained way, to accumulate a body of stories and narratives first and only then begin making interconnections, comparisons and contrasts. This is in opposition again to most left-brained curricula which start by reading slowly through a single literary work and analyzing it in isolation. She likes history in dramatic form, so although she was able to do conventional history work, we didn't go that direction and much of history this year (although not all) came first through the form of plays, which THEN, sometimes, sent us out into regular historical research.

 

So I could have "worked" on writing skills or history content in a LB way at an an earlier age with dd, but I chose not to, because a slow, steady, incremental process did not fit her at all, and would have turned her off learning altogether. And by doing things her way even if it meant holding off practicing essay writing skills, for instance, I saw her making HUGE strides. What happened is that she came to essay writing when she was able to do the whole caboodle right away, rather than practicing in increments and gradually working up to being able to tackle the whole thing after several years of working on shorter things or bits and pieces. She simply didn't practice essay writing in the conventional way; we talked and talked about books, and one day she just sat down and did it.

 

Also, there are large areas of dd's interests and research that I do not touch, guide, shape, assign, or in any way interfere with. These are not just hobbies, extras, or enrichments, but crucial parts of her education -- in fact, I'd go so far as to say the center of it. I CAN, I COULD, make them conform to typical-looking courses with required forms of output. But for us, that would defeat the purpose. So we don't "work" on those, I don't teach them to her, I don't use them for skill practice or turn them into formal school. Yet these are the areas in which she learns the most.

 

I know every kid's progress will look different, and I've always said dd does everything backwards or upside down, so I'm not really surprised that "as soon as you can, and as slow as you need" doesn't fit her as an individual. Now I can see that what we've done can only be defined as backwards if I'm comparing it to a LB-dominated instructional mode and process.

 

But I might be completely misunderstanding what you were trying to ask or get at.

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But I might be completely misunderstanding what you were trying to ask or get at.

 

Ah, now I get it. It was a OG tutor saying this. She wasn't talking about turning our kids into SWB clones.

 

But I'm with you that there are different ways to RESPOND when you get the can't. To me we tiptoe up, see what happens, see if there's an actual medical or whatever issue that is causing it that ought to be worked on. And if there's not and it's immoveable, you just go back and go another way. But you're right there's this totally different school of thought that says when you don't get it, well that's a clear sign that you better turn that skill into the smallest incremental steps possible and push and shove, trying to make that kid get it SOMEHOW, even if the results are horrible and would have come anyway given a little time.

 

I try not to get in the middle of that, because there are people on the boards who've chosen differently.

 

BTW, I was enjoying reading all the posts by you, Yllek, and Michele on therapeutic play over in the working memory thread. Now that we've got our baseline of stuff, I can add back in our things like that and get them up and running again. No spontaneous fun, haha. It's all going on a checklist. :D

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But I'm with you that there are different ways to RESPOND when you get the can't. To me we tiptoe up, see what happens, see if there's an actual medical or whatever issue that is causing it that ought to be worked on. And if there's not and it's immoveable, you just go back and go another way.

 

I'm not talking about a "can't" at all, though. I did have a kid who couldn't write when she was very young, and rather than plug at it directly, we did all kinds of work in ways that didn't require writing. Any writing she did do, it was of her own accord and for her own purposes, not my attempts to teach her or to develop writing as a skill. (And I usually couldn't read it anyway.)

 

After she had her developmental leap, however, she could write and I could have started working directly on essay skills. But I still didn't go there with teaching writing directly. I could see her developing layers of verbal and intellectual sophistication through our informal discussions, I could see that she was training HERSELF in grammar and punctuation, and by this point, this past year or more, I was finally able to trust that it would all work out in her own way, in her own time.

 

So it entirely wasn't a matter of meeting her where she was, or working on skills sideways, because by this point, I was not teaching her at all. And when she was younger, she taught me how to "teach" her by working alongside her and playing with concepts and skills. So again, it wasn't me deciding she was at a certain level and I was going to start there and build on it. It just didn't unfold in a linear manner at all. At many points I worried that it should; but it rarely did. I still think she learns by a kind of mental tesseract.

 

So that's the gap I see between a philosophy that starts with the skills and with the teacher's goals, and the approach we had here, which started with dd and her interests and how she wanted to pursue them, what role she wanted me to play in that pursuit. It's not unschooling, but equally it's not necessarily skills centered; it's certainly not centered in specific content I as a teacher pick out and decide she has to learn, and how am I going to get her there.

 

I guess for me it's a difference between explicit teacher-led instruction -- in skills, content, whatever have you -- and a very different process by which dd learns.

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Hey Doodler Woman,

 

I occurred to me this morning that we are talking apples and oranges here. Our kids (your Aspie, my dyslexic) may share certain right brained qualities, but their brains are different. The difference is scientifically based and was pointed out by the Eides in their book The Dyslexic Advantage. Taken in isolation Aspies and dyslexics are closer to NT kids brain structure wise, than they are to each other. Of course, many children with LDs have more than one issue,so I've just made a whopping statement.

 

Right brained though they both be, I don't expect all teaching and approaches that I use with my son to work with your daughter. There are emotional elements that you deal with that I simply don't. With that thought in mind, I spoke with my friend this morning....

 

My friend is an O-G tutor. I ask her this morning about the approach to using O-G with Aspsies. She told me that each child is different, and they need an individual plan. She also stated that if they require reading helps, to get the help as soon as the child can handle O-G and work slowly.

 

She has three children, two adopted (one OCD/tics and the other with dyslexia). She's homeschooled all 3, and the eldest presently attends a university 5 hours away, studying engineering. Her main concerns are educating her children and helping others. As a homeschooler, I don't see her anymore wed to a left brained system than me.

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For instance, taking my 11-year-old, he's worked in Starfall, Headsprout, Bob Books, 100 EZ Lessons, TAG books, simultaneous reading, Time 4 Learning, and Explode the Code. Each has given him a little something. I think doing various things for 3-6 months, depending on what is being gained, is a great idea. This allows for opportunity to consistently be available until time frame kicks in, but it doesn't bog down in too much intensity. It keeps it gentle yet interesting, like so many of you say you try to attain.

 

The comparison that always comes into my head when I see things like this is with OT. When we first began OT my dd had so many issues with balance and positioning her body in space that the OT didn't believe she could possible be taking ice skating lessons and standing up on her skates.

 

The way she approached balance was to throw at dd a whole variety of different kinds of equipment for a few minutes at a time, requiring her to constantly figure out how to adapt to a new kind of balancing object or machine.

 

At first I was really perplexed. Dd wanted to ride bike, really badly, and at eight she still couldn't. Shouldn't we be focusing on bike riding skills until she'd mastered them? But no, the idea was not to get her used to or relying on one particular aspect or type of balance. It was about her body in space overall.

 

After a couple of months dd had figured out how to use stilts, a pogo stick, roller skates, an odd little pedal machine that you stood up on and pedalled, and more. When she returned to her bike, she didn't practice. One day she simply got on and rode off.

 

Interestingly, some people working with autistic kids have found that the continual need to readjust balance in fine ways in response to a horse's movements can actually help make balance automatic and free up room for learning. There's a therapeutic riding school in Texas that does some aspects of school on horseback! You can read the book that started it all, Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson; and he's also got a web site where he talks more about his work on the ranch:

 

http://www.horseboyfoundation.org/

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Hey Doodler Woman,

 

I occurred to me this morning that we are talking apples and oranges here. Our kids (your Aspie, my dyslexic) may share certain right brained qualities, but their brains are different. The difference is scientifically based and was pointed out by the Eides in their book The Dyslexic Advantage. Taken in isolation Aspies and dyslexics are closer to NT kids brain structure wise, than they are to each other. Of course, many children with LDs have more than one issue,so I've just made a whopping statement.

 

Right brained though they both be, I don't expect all teaching and approaches that I use with my son to work with your daughter. There are emotional elements that you deal with that I simply don't. With that thought in mind, I spoke with my friend this morning....

 

My friend is an O-G tutor. I ask her this morning about the approach to using O-G with Aspsies. She told me that each child is different, and they need an individual plan. She also stated that if they require reading helps, to get the help as soon as the child can handle O-G and work slowly.

 

She has three children, two adopted (one OCD/tics and the other with dyslexia). She's homeschooled all 3, and the eldest presently attends a university 5 hours away, studying engineering. Her main concerns are educating her children and helping others. As a homeschooler, I don't see her anymore wed to a left brained system than me.

 

I understand what you're saying. I thought you were talking about her approach to kids in the school system, as a teacher, and the need to work to get them to conform to the LB output expectations of the classroom.

 

I also get the point that an extreme dyslexic and an extreme Aspie may be radically different creatures. But there are also kids who present with all kinds of overlapping symptoms and glitches and needs. Dd is what the Eides would call a "stealth dyslexic." She had many of the typical problems, but her verbal abilities masked many of them, she was able to compensate for many more, and she outgrew or somehow matured out of still others (not being able to discriminate between various soft vowel sounds, for instance).

 

So there are kids in whom elements of dyslexia and ASD coincide (or are co-morbid conditions), as there are many autistic kids who are also ADHD, and/or some kids autistic kids who are visual learners with visual processing deficits. Some of Michele's kids show this interplay between what might appear, in isolation, to be completely different brain structures.

 

Part of the overlap is a general right-brained tendency toward learning and processing. I wouldn't expect these kids to require the exact same materials or teaching either. But I would expect them to require and do well with elements of a general right-brained approach, with specifics different for each child's particular manifestation. Even dyslexics are not all alike -- consider the Eides' four "types" and how VERY different they are. Current theory on ASD posits that there are multiple "types," that genes can be triggered in combinations much like chords on a piano can differ depending on what keys are pressed. But they're all piano chords, not trumpet notes or violin chords or drums.

 

Thus the saying that when you've met one Aspie, you have met one Aspie.

 

I'm not discounting your main point, just complicating it. :D

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We've been talking about very similar ideals, then, OhElizabeth! But I don't mind all the discussion that's ensued because I feel I've learned a lot.

 

The main difference we have is that I don't see medical as being as prevalent as you may. Having observed the autism world for some time now, the parents who are the medical-based interventionists seem to put so much time into AIT, vision therapy, diets, chelation, probiotics, this, that, new, newer, fad, fadier, and it seems to never end, yet their child overall progresses only somewhat...yes, there are always miracle stories, but certainly the medical approach doesn't "cure" autism. Again, because of this background of mine, it's probably why I don't invest in a lot of the "medical" options for educational improvement.

 

That said, like you, it's the choice I make for myself; I don't judge those for doing it for themselves. Everyone has to make that choice.

 

And yes, actually we're about 95% in line. I've known that all along. ;) I'm giving you a hard time because I think the medical issues are IMPORTANT. It's not good enough to be vague or sweeping and inaccurately steer someone away from things that would have helped them.

 

I've done chelation, etc. myself actually. When dd was young I had mcs and was housebound, was beginning to have anaphylactic reactions, etc. I used an environ doc (and built a safe house, the whole nine yards) and did all sorts of things including chelation. Basically he made me really, really sick. I left him and started with a nutritionist who just uses FOOD, lots of good food to heal the body. Might not be fast or flashy, but she doesn't kill me in the process.

 

So to me these alternative therapies you mentioned for autism aren't even in the same class as VT. VT, OT, ST, these are things that are standard, within the realm of generally accepted science. No one gets HURT by trying them, though their pocketbook might drain. And they hit developmental issues where the dc is absolutely impacted if he doesn't get the therapy or a rough equivalent (mom work). They're things a parent is likely to miss because they don't have the knowledge to do evals for them (retained primitive reflexes, convergence, praxis, etc.).

 

I'm skeptical of almost EVERYTHING frankly, because I learned a long time ago that someone's statement about how it worked was inevitably skewed either by not being removed from it long enough or not having the same standards of success or being so wrapped up in what they paid for it and the euphoria of the experience. That pattern seems to be true almost everywhere frankly, whether it's curriculum or diets or treatments or whatever.

 

It means if somebody tells me their method "worked" I'm then looking at how it turned out and what the consequences were that that person ISN'T disclosing.

 

Well that's enough of that. I need to keep moving. This thread has turned into a KAHUNA!

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They think an 8-year-old will need to learn their letters, then sounds, then this, then that, incrementally, but in actuality, older new readers tend to approach learning to read differently. It's not uncommon to go from zero to hero.

 

Right-brained people are holistic learners...whole-to-part, so they can often inhale whole concepts, and then digest on the details as they percolate on the information as they draw it, act it, build it, talk about it, etc.

 

You know, (and hopefully I'm being nice here) it's kind of odd to me that your list of things you're using with your ds to pursue reading is so traditional phonics, given how much you recognize the need to grasp the WHOLE. The way I taught my dd, giving her whole words where she could ponder the parts and then read back the whole, read back the whole, read the whole, was so focused on WHOLE. She never sounded out at all. She read words, learned parts, and then one day just started reading. Her brain had put it all together.

 

Just saying I found your traditional list rather odd. It's the way my dh was taught, and he's a horrible reader. It's what launched me out into alternative land from the very beginning, because I knew the way he had been taught wasn't going to get a kid anywhere if they had his genes.

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Part of the overlap is a general right-brained tendency toward learning and processing. I wouldn't expect these kids to require the exact same materials or teaching either.

 

I'm reading an interesting little handout packet someone gave me on retained primitive reflexes, laterality, that sort of thing, and it uses the same r/l categories as Cindy, but interestingly it assigns them to the prefrontal lobes, not the entire brain. Kind of interesting to ponder, because then you could have the entire prefrontal with a developmental timetable (left and right ) out of the norm (adhd) and others maybe with just part? That's screwy.

 

Anyways, I'm just looking for it all to jive. Throw a ton of categories together and what are clearly different brain types, and after a while it doesn't work so well.

 

Whatever, I just keep thinking. It seems to me if one accepts the idea of right-brain dominance, one also has to admit the path of how one GOT there and then that there's the ability to IMPACT that. And of course impacting that is therapy, ooo... There's a difference between dealing with what is and pondering whether there's anything to be done about it. There's a place for both, at least in my world.

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Just stopping in really quickly to say, Doodler, thank you for this. This is really interesting to me. It lines up with some gut feelings I have had but had no idea about this research.

 

Home_Mom, I did not mean to sound rude or mean, if my posts came across that way. I was just trying to address my concerns with the wait and see approach. I am a researcher though and always looking for gems in books, even if the book does not directly relate to what we are dealing with here, so I will be keeping your book in mind.

 

Michele, I am sorry to see you feel misunderstood. You know how much I respect you and value your opinion. My voice on here has been totally insignificant. I was not on here long and have been totally new to LD's. Your voice however, has been very helpful to many of us. We don't all have to agree all the time :). I do hope that you will chose to rise above things and stick around, at least occasionally, for those that have benefited so much from your input. As for me, I consider you a good friend and will be making sure I keep in touch :D.

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Great examples to me, thank you Doodle. That really helps me sift out the vision related educational side and life-functioning side. It really makes sense to me now. Can anyone else give me other life-functioning sides of vision-related issues? I have not bumping into things, throwing/catching balls and sports as a whole, riding bikes/horses, moving object difficulties as a whole, it would seem.

 

OhE in particular, are you aware of how many people see vision therapy as an educational intervention? Why do you think that is and when there's a conversation about vision therapy, shouldn't that differentiation be clearly stated from the get go?

 

Cindy, it's simplistic to think of vision therapy as ONLY medical or ONLY educational. That's like asking a dude with no hand why he won't WRITE. Uh, duh, he can't. He doesn't have the TOOLS to work with, no facility.

 

So when people go to an end point and are seeing a problem (my kid rejects small print, my kid hates reading, my kid gets headaches, my kid's handwriting looks like a dying chicken took over his soul), you CAN be seeing the end result of a medical problem. But it's something that STARTED well before the end result, and we don't have to be simplistic about identifying it. For instance I've talked with people who said they didn't need to take their kids to get their eyes checked because they weren't having debilitating headaches the way my dd was. So yes, everyone should have the same list of symptoms, to the same degree, or no one deserves diagnosis. :001_huh:

 

Of course when you improve physical problems, you're making it easier for the dc to do his school work. That should be totally obvious.

 

What I suggest to people is that it's good to get your eyes checked, just like it's good to get your teeth cleaned at the dentist or your yearly check-up or whatever else you do. It's medical. And there are things a developmental optometrist will catch that CAN impact schoolwork. It's no guarantee that it's causing their problems. It's just one of those easy things to ELIMINATE. And that's where I fall. Because if someone gets their eyes checked and they get cleared for problems, then they can move on to the other options. But if they move on to Barton ($1K a level) or just assume it's timetable and DON'T take the simple step of getting their eyes checked, then they've missed a SIMPLE potential cause. Not a cause of all their problems mind you, but part of the mix.

 

That's how I explain it. It's actually a really hot topic around here. Some people have gotten burnt with dishonest doctors. There's all kinds of sentiment. But the point is when you get a community of people who have SN and low tone, the occurrence of developmental vision problems is going to be very, very high. It's high enough that it's WORTH MENTIONING and worth eliminating. $60-100 and a person can eliminate it as an issue. There's almost nothing medical that is so cheap these days. It doesn't take long to get into, is just good health policy (everyone should get their eyes checked), and doesn't HURT anyone.

 

There's a strong connection between low tone and opthamological problems. I think some time ago I read statistics that around (some really high percentage) of people with mito disorders, etc. would have diagnosable opthmalogical issues by age 28. It's a population we know tends to be low tone, have varying degrees of sensory and vestibular problems, etc. The eyes are controlled by muscles. It's just NOT shocking that people in this population would have a higher rate of developmental vision problems. That's why I also don't think of it as merely an "education" problem, because it's intricately linked to their development. That's why it's a developmental optometrist you go to, not an ed psych with a bunch of exercises.

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Just stopping in really quickly to say, Doodler, thank you for this. This is really interesting to me. It lines up with some gut feelings I have had but had no idea about this research.

 

It's fascinating to me that neuroscience and biochemistry are now confirming some suspicions parents have had all along, but were dismissed by the medical community in general.

 

I also read recently that finally neuroscience, MRI's etc. are now confirming what some of us parents with Aspies have also been saying, which is that while some people on the spectrum seem to have low levels of emotional register and response (my dh, for instance), just as with SPD, others are overly sensitive and responsive. My dd was always like this and I was confounded when professionals would tell me that she needed to "learn to identify" emotions. Oh, she could identify them all right. It's just that they registered as 0 or 100, they were hugely magnified to her, and thus completely overwhelming and scary.

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Cindy, it's simplistic to think of vision therapy as ONLY medical or ONLY educational. That's like asking a dude with no hand why he won't WRITE. Uh, duh, he can't. He doesn't have the TOOLS to work with, no facility.

 

 

But many people, including schools and some VT places, DO think of it only as educational. The whole emphasis, the whole point, the whole goal and purpose for VT in such a context, is getting the kid to do something differently with regard to print: maybe like my dd, simply learn which way an isolated L faces.

 

The pediatrician and regular optometrist both thought she couldn't read when she was taking acuity tests and they'd say, "Which way is the E pointing?" To her, the direction wasn't an issue; an E could point any old way and still be an E, so why was it a question? And how would you describe it?

 

These are WAYS OF THINKING that complicate professionals' perspectives on visual processing and status.

 

Clearly not all of them think this way, or deal with VT only in regards to getting kids to read faster/better/earlier or whatever the particular issue with school performance is. But these issues are there. So long as right-brained kids' perfectly normal visual development isn't seen as their normal but as deficient, this kind of issue will continue to get mixed up with true physiological and neurological malfunctions.

 

So to some degree, I see what you're saying, and I agree; but in another way, I CAN see separate educational issues (does the kid measure up to LB timetables and performance outcomes) and medical issues, I DO see them as separate in my dd, and DID see them both lumped together as needing remediation/therapy when now I can tell, with perspective, that this was not the case.

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I also read recently that finally neuroscience, MRI's etc. are now confirming what some of us parents with Aspies have also been saying, which is that while some people on the spectrum seem to have low levels of emotional register and response (my dh, for instance), just as with SPD, others are overly sensitive and responsive. My dd was always like this and I was confounded when professionals would tell me that she needed to "learn to identify" emotions. Oh, she could identify them all right. It's just that they registered as 0 or 100, they were hugely magnified to her, and thus completely overwhelming and scary.

 

Wow... you just described me ;)! My mother always said I went from one extreme to another when it came to my response to emotions.

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Wow... you just described me ;)! My mother always said I went from one extreme to another when it came to my response to emotions.

 

I can only imagine how terrifying and overwhelming it must be to feel emotions on that kind of level. It would be exhausting, and I bet it often makes this type of Aspie want alone time, just to be insulated from that kind of impact.

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Right-brained people are holistic learners...whole-to-part, so they can often inhale whole concepts, and then digest on the details as they percolate on the information as they draw it, act it, build it, talk about it, etc. And since they learn by association versus memorization best, once they inhale one concept, they can draw on the similarities to move into other genres, such as the writing you're talking about. When a right-brained learner inhales a preferred right-brained writing style, whether it's poetry, fiction, script, lyrical, etc., they can then start making huge leaps into analytical, persuasive, etc., given a good reason to do so.

 

My suspicion is that it's because they latch on to and process the whole of something rather than accumulating it by parts that their timetable is so different. Writing, for instance, is a really complicated act, so processing and internalizing all its different aspects simultaneously is kind of like a python digesting a meal: it takes a long time, compared to a small single bite at a time.

 

Is that anything close to your conclusions, Cindy?

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I can only imagine how terrifying and overwhelming it must be to feel emotions on that kind of level. It would be exhausting, and I bet it often makes this type of Aspie want alone time, just to be insulated from that kind of impact.

 

Did a lot of that too. Still do.

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(twice exceptional comes mostly from not understanding the right-brained attributes of giftedness).

 

Wow, talk about an overgeneralization. :glare::thumbdown:

 

SOMETIMES an individual who is labeled as "twice exceptional" is simply a misunderstood VSL (my middle brother whom I mentioned earlier in the thread is one). But often, there actually is a very real LD beyond just having a visio-spatial thinking style.

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In closing I just wanted to add this:

 

The most important biomedical treatments to try are the special diets. They are most likely to help children who have gastrointestinal problems. They do not work for everybody. A special diet does not cure autism, but in some children, there may be definite improvements.

 

Found in Temple Grandin's website, here:

 

http://www.templegrandin.com/faq.html

 

Her advice on alternative methods, therapies, etc. is to do your research before proceeding. I have tried to follow her wise words and have found the diets and supplements beneficial. I have followed the conservative approach that Temple Grandin does, where that is concerned, also.

 

One thing I try to make a point of doing though, is to not criticize or put down others for what they chose for their family. We all have our children's best interests at heart (as has been said many times here) and since I am not in anyone else's shoes, I don't find it fair to judge what must have been a really difficult choice, involving a lot of thought and research, for someone else.

 

All the best everyone :)!

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Having observed the autism world for some time now, the parents who are the medical-based interventionists seem to put so much time into AIT, vision therapy, diets, chelation, probiotics, this, that, new, newer, fad, fadier, and it seems to never end, yet their child overall progresses only somewhat...yes, there are always miracle stories, but certainly the medical approach doesn't "cure" autism. Again, because of this background of mine, it's probably why I don't invest in a lot of the "medical" options for educational improvement.

 

Except that for many of the biomedical approaches, the scientific evidence is piling up in favor of them being helpful, at least for a subset of autistic patients.

 

My youngest DD is currently participating in a clinical research study at UC San Francisco of methyl B12 shots. The study has been going on for a while and DD is one of the very last participants (there were only 2 openings left after she got accepted). The study is controlled, double-blind, etc. and they are testing the kids extensively prior to and after the experimental period.

 

The psychiatry professor who is running the study has told me that based on the preliminary results, they are seeing about a 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 split on the effectiveness of the mB12. The first third is seeing dramatic improvement (these are the folks who would be the testimonials). Another third is seeing slight improvement or mixed results (e.g. significant improvement but also major side effects). The final third is seeing no results (these would be the ones skeptics point to).

 

The researchers have been taking blood samples from the participants to see if they can figure out whether there are any genetic or other biological markers to distinguish responders from non-responders. Hopefully this research will lead to the development of a test that doctors can run to see which patients are good candidates for mB12.

 

Are there fads in biomedical treatment for autism? Sure, but there is also starting to be a lot of real science to back up certain things. Skeptics who dismiss the whole field as quackery are doing a real disservice IMHO.

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While various therapies have been criticized in this discussion?

What really needs to be critically evaluated, is this 'fiction' of left/ right brain thinkers?

Which is basically just a lot of rubbish.

What it appeals to, is the stigma of a 'disability' diagnosis.

Where reframing it as left or right brain thinking, doesn't carry this stigma.

 

But the problem with this, is that it gives a totally wrong understanding of how the brain operates.

Given that the cognitive thinking processes of auditory, visual and spacial. Equally involve the parietal, temporal and visual lobes/ cortexes, on both sides of the brain. So that both sides are always working in combination.

So that the only real meaning of 'left/right brain thinkers', is where their is damage to one hemisphere.

Yet this is almost always limited to a specific lobe or lobes, within a hemisphere.

Where the only functional difference between these opposing lobes, is with the temporal lobes, which have differentiated functions on each side, to cope with complexity of processing language.

So that it is only with the temporal lobes and the processing of language, that left/right brain dominant thinking distinction has any relevance. Where their appears to be a differentiated development, based on gender.

 

But the major problem with using left/right brain thinking, to conceptualise thinking as a duality?

Is that, we have 3 distinct cognitive thinking processes: auditory, visual and spacial.

So that it really creates more confusion than understanding?

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Doodler, you wrote that your DD has issues with directional issues with letters and can read upside down and sideways?

The past 2 years I've been involved in an international research project into children who are able to read and write fluently, upside down. But had great difficulty with reading/ writing the normal way.

Where often they had been diagnosed as Dyslexic, and provided with remedial support.

So that it came as a great surprise to find that they could read and write fluently, upside down.

Also they draw upside down.

But they have no difficulty with normal vision.

Where it specifically effects the directionality of processing visual symbols.

Where I was involved with identifying the neurological functions involved with this difficulty.

With the result, that MIT is now conducting a series of clinical studies.

But this highlights the problem with a singular understanding of Dyslexia?

Where typical remedial approaches were a waste of time.

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Doodler, you wrote that your DD has issues with directional issues with letters and can read upside down and sideways?

The past 2 years I've been involved in an international research project into children who are able to read and write fluently, upside down. But had great difficulty with reading/ writing the normal way.

Where often they had been diagnosed as Dyslexic, and provided with remedial support.

So that it came as a great surprise to find that they could read and write fluently, upside down.

Also they draw upside down.

But they have no difficulty with normal vision.

Where it specifically effects the directionality of processing visual symbols.

Where I was involved with identifying the neurological functions involved with this difficulty.

With the result, that MIT is now conducting a series of clinical studies.

But this highlights the problem with a singular understanding of Dyslexia?

Where typical remedial approaches were a waste of time.

 

This is like the "Davis" version of dyslexia. In all of my reading about dyslexia, I have found that there is not one single definition for it, and every "expert" has their own pet version that they hold forth on. Part of our son's issues were Davis-type issues, and these were addressed in VT - they did a lot of spatial orientation work with him. Before VT, he could write with either hand, and either backwards or forwards. He would also try to read backwards, and had upside down and mirroring issues as well. The spatial work in VT helped him sort out which orientation to pay attention to. I know he inherited these abilities. I can read backwards, upside down, and mirror or from behind, like through the back side of a sign on a window. I am RH but I can write LH either normally or mirrored. I did not have any trouble learning to read or write though. Our son also had eye teaming issues (convergence, tracking, accommodation, and suppression of one eye) and other visual processing issues as well, so the orientation issues alone were not his entire problem. But one thing that was never a problem for him that some dyslexia "experts" insist must be present for dyslexia, was phonics or any sort of auditory issues. The dyslexia program that basically pound phonics in small increments with a ton of repetition would have done a whole lot of nothing for him. But therapy specifically for sequential memory issues has been helpful for him.

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This is like the "Davis" version of dyslexia. In all of my reading about dyslexia, I have found that there is not one single definition for it, and every "expert" has their own pet version that they hold forth on. Part of our son's issues were Davis-type issues, and these were addressed in VT - they did a lot of spatial orientation work with him. Before VT, he could write with either hand, and either backwards or forwards. He would also try to read backwards, and had upside down and mirroring issues as well. The spatial work in VT helped him sort out which orientation to pay attention to. I know he inherited these abilities. I can read backwards, upside down, and mirror or from behind, like through the back side of a sign on a window. I am RH but I can write LH either normally or mirrored. I did not have any trouble learning to read or write though. Our son also had eye teaming issues (convergence, tracking, accommodation, and suppression of one eye) and other visual processing issues as well, so the orientation issues alone were not his entire problem. But one thing that was never a problem for him that some dyslexia "experts" insist must be present for dyslexia, was phonics or any sort of auditory issues. The dyslexia program that basically pound phonics in small increments with a ton of repetition would have done a whole lot of nothing for him. But therapy specifically for sequential memory issues has been helpful for him.

 

That is absolutely fascinating. So the different ways you can read have never been an actual problem? And it sounds like for your son, the eye suppression (which dd also had) and other issues were much more major problems than the orientation.

 

I don't know whether dd would have had problems with phonics or not. She certainly did not teach herself to read phonetically; neither does she use phonics for spelling. She sometimes has problems figuring out how to pronounce an unfamiliar word, but then so do I, and I was taught with phonics. And she will usually know how to pronounce words that I don't because like her father she listens to unfathomably huge amounts of radio shows, podcasts, and audiobooks, whereas I mainly read to myself.

 

Dd displayed the multi-angle reading ability only for a short while, and quickly preferred regular reading of her own accord. But letters in isolation, which is what she got at eye exams and visual therapy, were a different matter.

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That is absolutely fascinating. So the different ways you can read have never been an actual problem?

 

I never had any trouble sorting out the correct orientation for reading and writing. However, I am terrible at the sort of 3D drawing I had to do in engineering school. It was easy for everyone else and I just could not get it.

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Ahhh, here it is :-) I knew I had to come to these boards to continue to educate myself on how to explain myself, and Doodler, you are better at it than me, as I said before. It's probably because you've just come through the sifting process and realize the benefits.

 

Your blog was my personal lightbulb moment. I've read so much over the past dozen years, about Asperger's, NLD, dyslexia, stealth dyslexia, dysgraphia, gifted traits, visual learners, VT and visual processing, 2e kids, etc. I've read and read until my eyes bugged out. Everything explained bits and pieces, but nothing really leaped out as truly "fitting" and making a coherent picture out of the whole.

 

When I read your blog I saw the pattern of dd's intellectual development right there in front of my eyes. I think, looking back now, that part of the problem I had when trying to fit dd into the other profiles wasn't that they weren't appropriate or didn't also fit her, but that so much of the writing assumed typical LB school methods, materials, timelines, and goals. From early childhood dd had resisted, fiercely and passionately, such things. I had the gut sense that this otherwise obedient and almost troublingly acquiescent child was resisting in order to protect something vital and deeply understood about the way she learned. So I backed way off and allowed her to teach me how to go about helping her learn. Her dysgraphia took us further from any kind of standard approach. We still pursue her education in ways that look nothing like what nearly everybody else I know does, at the high school level. (I've written elsewhere how plays are actually the center of her education. So are satire, spoofs, and parody.) Yet here she is somehow popping up college-capable.

 

The underlying assumptions that Aspies, VSLs, dyslexics, etc. must necessarily work within the framework of regular school (through accommodations and extra work) and conform with LB output expectations, especially regarding written work, actually prevented me from understanding to what extent dd did fit those categories and to what extent she had other things going on (that is, right-brained learning preferences and characteristics) that were shaping her as much or more. The idea that she had to have accommodations and extra help to do what neurotypical (in this context, LB) kids were doing, when they were doing it, prevented me from seeing how her own learning processes and a completely different way of doing things would get her TO THE SAME POINT by mid-adolescence.

 

Your blog just put the finishing touch on my understanding of this. It was one of those moments where a scrambled bunch of ideas or memories suddenly shift and fall into a perfectly coherent design, like when you turn a kaleidoscope, everything jumbles for a moment and then settles into patterns. I can see the RB norm in her and also see the deficits and problems that are not RB normal and needed intervention. Neither cancels out the other.

 

What you have done for me is put the very last niggling bits of self-doubt, and doubt of my child's learning process, to rest for good.

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I never had any trouble sorting out the correct orientation for reading and writing. However, I am terrible at the sort of 3D drawing I had to do in engineering school. It was easy for everyone else and I just could not get it.

 

I'm having a huge WOW moment here. I could never understand why dd could be so good at seeing letters from different directions yet not be able for the life of her to figure out things like which way touching gears would rotate, or "see" certain elements of 3-D drawings.

 

So did you soldier on through engineering? What did you end up doing?

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I'm having a huge WOW moment here. I could never understand why dd could be so good at seeing letters from different directions yet not be able for the life of her to figure out things like which way touching gears would rotate, or "see" certain elements of 3-D drawings.

 

So did you soldier on through engineering? What did you end up doing?

 

I was a chemical engineer - I worked in that field for eight years. Most of the drawings I had to make or read were no problem. I had trouble with piping isos though (isometric piping diagrams). But those are used more by the mechanical folks. Most of the drawings I worked with were all flat.

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I was a chemical engineer - I worked in that field for eight years. Most of the drawings I had to make or read were no problem. I had trouble with piping isos though (isometric piping diagrams). But those are used more by the mechanical folks. Most of the drawings I worked with were all flat.

 

Total ignorance speaking here, but: Was the 3-D drawing stuff done on computer? Do current computer programs that do things in 3-D help you, or not really make a difference?

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Doodler, you wrote that your DD has issues with directional issues with letters and can read upside down and sideways?

The past 2 years I've been involved in an international research project into children who are able to read and write fluently, upside down. But had great difficulty with reading/ writing the normal way.

Where often they had been diagnosed as Dyslexic, and provided with remedial support.

So that it came as a great surprise to find that they could read and write fluently, upside down.

Also they draw upside down.

But they have no difficulty with normal vision.

Where it specifically effects the directionality of processing visual symbols.

Where I was involved with identifying the neurological functions involved with this difficulty.

With the result, that MIT is now conducting a series of clinical studies.

But this highlights the problem with a singular understanding of Dyslexia?

Where typical remedial approaches were a waste of time.

 

This is fascinating. Do you have any links to articles or any kind of information on this kind of thing?

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So the different ways you can read have never been an actual problem? And it sounds like for your son, the eye suppression (which dd also had) and other issues were much more major problems than the orientation.

 

I suppress one eye and have never had any trouble with reading (early, advanced, avid reader). Didn't even realized I suppressed one eye until DD did VT - and I couldn't do some of the things they asked her to do (like I only saw 1 bead on the brock string, or couldn't see the 3-D image - however I could "get" it eventually so I don't suppress 100% of the time). Growing up I just always thought my left eye was "weak".

 

IMO this is really the big issue kids who arent' learning to read when expected - that there are various types of problems that are currently all being lumped together (so of course a specific therapy works for some but not all) and that no one has a real handle on what specifically is causing the problem for the various types - as shown by some people being able to learn even with a "problem area" and yet other can't - like laundry crisis could read despite her orientation problem or I could read despite my eye suppression kind of thing.

 

I also personally think splitting kids into left/right brained is far too simplistic - but I have wondered how much some of the kids who are doing OG for years and years (vs. those who go through the levels at a reasonable speed) are really just benefiting from getting older (neurons connecting - or being pruned as the case may be :tongue_smilie:) to be able to pass to the next level rather than actually being "taught" by the method.

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Except that for many of the biomedical approaches, the scientific evidence is piling up in favor of them being helpful, at least for a subset of autistic patients.

 

My youngest DD is currently participating in a clinical research study at UC San Francisco of methyl B12 shots. The study has been going on for a while and DD is one of the very last participants (there were only 2 openings left after she got accepted). The study is controlled, double-blind, etc. and they are testing the kids extensively prior to and after the experimental period.

 

The psychiatry professor who is running the study has told me that based on the preliminary results, they are seeing about a 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 split on the effectiveness of the mB12. The first third is seeing dramatic improvement (these are the folks who would be the testimonials). Another third is seeing slight improvement or mixed results (e.g. significant improvement but also major side effects). The final third is seeing no results (these would be the ones skeptics point to).

 

The researchers have been taking blood samples from the participants to see if they can figure out whether there are any genetic or other biological markers to distinguish responders from non-responders. Hopefully this research will lead to the development of a test that doctors can run to see which patients are good candidates for mB12.

 

Are there fads in biomedical treatment for autism? Sure, but there is also starting to be a lot of real science to back up certain things. Skeptics who dismiss the whole field as quackery are doing a real disservice IMHO.

 

When I started reading about things like the GAPS diet, for example, it seemed so out there. But, I also like to read scientific journals, and I was seeing that there are also articles coming from the mainstream scientific community connecting GI status and neurological/emotional issues.

Edited by NJKelli
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